AAGPBL Interview - Erma Bergmann
Erma Bergmann was a pitcher in the old AAGPBL. She took the time to answer a few of our questions.
1) How did you get interested in playing baseball and where did you play before you turned pro?
I played in the neighborhood with other kids I grew up with. I played eight years amateur softball in St. Louis at the St. Louis softball park.
2) Describe your signing.
Mr. Al Nicoli asked me to play professionally in the AAGPBL in 1944-5. I signed in 1945 to play in 1946.
3) What position(s) did you play? Which teams did you play for?
I was a pitcher for the Muskegon Lassies (1946-7), Springfield Sallies (1948), Racine Belles (1949-50) and Battle Creek Belles (1951).
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
Playing with some of the best players in the US and Canada. Spring training in Cuba. Travel. Education. Getting paid for something you loved to do.
5) What was the worst thing?
Sometimes rather long bus trips when you were on the road.
6) What was the highlight of your career?
I pitched a no-hitter May 22, 1947 against the Grand Rapids Chicks. The final was 4-1.
7) How about listing an All-Star team from the League?
Connie Wisniewski (P)
8) Do you think the fans and press accepted you more as the years wore on? (Describe how it was when you started. Did increased exposure change some minds?)
I thought we were well received in the cities we played. My mother and friends I knew were always unconditionally for me.
9. Who were your favorite big league ballplayers during the era you played in?
Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller, Dizzy Dean, Lou Gehrig and Stan Musial.
10) Do you follow big league ball now? If so, how do you think it compares with your day?
I'm always loyal to the home team win or lose, even though I don't follow as closely as when I played. I think we played more for the excitement and love of the game.
11) Should women have their own pro league, should they play in the majors, or should we have both (a women's league and the chance for the best women players to play in the majors?)
I favor their own pro league. However, if individuals can compete on their own with the males it's alright too.
12) How do you feel about the Silver Bullets?
It was alright, however, we only played against girls teams.
13) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
I was one of the first commissioned police women in the city of St. Louis. I retired after 25 years of service.
14) What advice do you have for young women who want to become pro ballplayers?
If you have the talent, develop the skill. I'm hoping a pro league for women will form again.
15) Any other memories or comments?
We have great reunions every two years, and now every year. One of the great periods and times of my life.
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